Bruised by their midweek Champions League disappointment, Manchester City will resume their Premier League aspirations against Stoke City on Saturday.
Kick-off at the Etihad Stadium is at 17h00 (CAT).
Manuel Pellegrini’s men suffered a minor set-back in their nearly unstoppable form on Tuesday evening when they played host to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
It was a display which highlighted why the Spanish Champions are one of the best teams in the world, but their performance was largely aided by the sending off of Martin Demichelis just after the break.
Lionel Messi scored from the penalty spot conceded by the physical defender before Danie Alves wrapped up the deal to hand City their second only defeat at home this season.
Much was made of the referee’s display on the day but the Argentinian says he must be blamed for his sending off rather than the match official.
“I have seen the moment again on TV and think ‘why did I have to tackle him and not keep running by his side?’” he told the Sun.
“I was sure that I would get the ball when I made the tackle. And then you think that you will steal the ball from Messi, you realise that you don’t. But I made the foul.”
Stoke City conversely arrive into the encounter off the back a 1-1 draw Swansea City and they are in need of a league win after claiming just one victory in seven games.
With City’s title aspirations still very much in check, they know that another slip-up cannot be forgiven as they now sit five points off leaders Chelsea.